Page 1

fQ Q

fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

fibre QUARTERLY, VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY Canadian Textile and Fibre Arts on-line Magazine, Amy Belanger Kate Busby Suzanne Carlsen Martha Cockshutt Thea Haines Tim Jocelyn Bettina Lee Lee Maszaros Allyson Mitchell Janet Morton Lorraine Smith Carl Stewart The Sweater Lodge Anna Torma Hillary Webb Ange Yake


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Anna Torma, Red Flowers 1 (detail) 2006, 168 x 133cm, hand embroidery

Anna Torma Entering The Garden Art Gallery of Hamilton 123 King Street West, Hamilton, Ontario September 30 - December 31, 2006 Curated by Sara Knelman This exhibition accompanies Hungarian Splendour: Masterpieces from the National Gallery in Budapest. Opening Reception: Sunday, October 22, 2006


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

content Editorial: under rated and unobserved .................................................... - 4 In the view finder ....................................................................................... - 5 Hillary Webb: Molecular colour and line ..........................................................................5 The Sweater Lodge.............................................................................................................6

Fibre Active: introducing Lorraine Smith......................................................7 Spun Out by Lorraine Smith..............................................................................................9

Re-signing Icarus..........................................................................................12 Finishing School: An Education in Textiles................................................19 Amy Belanger ...................................................................................................................20 Kate Busby........................................................................................................................22 Thea Haines ......................................................................................................................25 Bettina Lee ........................................................................................................................27 Lee Maszaros....................................................................................................................28 Ange Yake - Textile Artist ..................................................................................................29

Mission Statement: to Google or not to Goolge .........................................30 Around town..................................................................................................32 Carl Stewart ......................................................................................................................32 Janet Morton Full Circle...................................................................................................33 Yurts, Camel Trappings a Salt Bag or Two ....................................................................34 A Bias-Cut Review by Martha Cockshutt .......................................................................36 Fray at TMC &Koffler Gallery...........................................................................................39

The Textile Museum of Canada: Award Winning and Working Hard ........40 BACKPAGE: ..................................................................................................41 Thinking Fibre or the Tale waging the‌ .....................................................42 My Knitting Career by Mary Kosta ..................................................................................42

fibreQuarterly is posted three times yearly on line at registered business # 160956728 publisher/editor: joelewis, editorial staff: Sharon Butler, Mary O'Neil, Alexandra Albert, Advisory Board, Dorothy Caldwell, Lila Lewis Irving, Rebecca Kelley, Mary Pace, Luba Sckambarra, Michelle Walker


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Editorial: under rated and unobserved October 5, 2006; in two weeks time, Textile Narratives and Conversations, the tenth bi-annual Symposium of the Textile Society of America, will be over, and the About Jacquard Mini Conference in Montreal will be taking place. In the time between, 17 exhibitions will have opened in the Toronto area. It is a time to celebrate, and perhaps to reflect. In past editorials, I have talked about the lack of coverage and loss of publications that have covered textile and fibre arts. Now it is time to focus on the wide variety of things that have recently been happening. From the number of venues exhibiting textile art this month, the viability of textile work is becoming obvious to more dealers and curators. The amount of coverage in the popular as well as art presses is encouraging, and if subscriptions validate interest (and effort), then this publication may actually continue and evolve into a highly viable resource for critical discourse. This past summer, at the Toronto Outdoor Show at Nathan Philips Square, the “best sculpture” was the Ugly Bunny ‘textile’ soft sculpture created by Sarah Reynolds. There have been a number of recent graduates from the Ontario College of Art and Design and from Sheridan College (featured in Finishing School: an education in textiles in this anthology). Post-secondary institutions across the country have students in fine arts focusing on textiles. The Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, and Concordia University in Montreal, both have programs in which students can complete a more fully developed and tightly focused textile curriculum and work towards a doctorate degree This coming generation has an unabashedly positive attitude toward working with fibre and textiles. These works are not being submitted as “mixed media” or “installation” works which previously were the side door entry point into the bastions of “fine art”. On September 30, I was in the Art Gallery of Hamilton to see Anna Torma’s new exhibit and meet the artist. While talking about the current state of textile art, she noted that it reminded her of Hungary under Communist rule. Textiles were such an underrated and unobserved category, and the creative freedom to push the boundaries and to experiment then is reminiscent of Canada now. Exhibitions such as Fray are evidence of this, while at the same time, Patricia Bentley’s Dance of Pattern and Continuum along with Natalia Nekrassova’s Wondering Weavers, have provided an accessible yet scholarly look at the Textile Museum of Canada’s collection. Canada’s community of practicing artists, educators, students, and curators as well as the public are on a learning curve. At the Textile Society of America symposium, the programming consists of presentations on a variety of topics and disciplines including textiles and trade, education, ritual practices, cultural transitions, gender issues, contemporary art practices and focussed sessions addressing disparate geographical and historical topics. This, considered along with the viewing opportunities, make this fall in Toronto very exciting for those of us who love fibre arts.

Joe Lewis Image on front cover is by Hillary Webb, all images are copyrighted material ( unless otherwise stated) and are the property of the artist and or the institution that provided them and have all been reproduced here with permission, Written Material is the property of the authors and may not be duplicated , transmitted or otherwise redistributed without permission of the author.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

In the view finder Hillary Webb: Molecular colour and line Hillary Webb has been making the rounds of Craft Shows since graduating with a Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2005. Her work consists of cotton, wax, natural dies, tattered holes, reverse appliquĂŠ and thread combined to create objects/ images reflective of an organic world. By waxing dyed cottons to deepen colours, embellishing with beading, and drawing with both graphite and embroidery, Hillary Webb draws on a seemingly microscopic, if not molecular, view of nature. Her subtle sense of colour and form is always under control, regardless of the size or shape of each piece. A broach or bookmark, alone or framed in a shadow box, are as finished as her larger wall pieces. With attention to detail and layering of materials, Hillary is building a body of work to keep watch for. Now is the time to invest -- with her career just beginning, and while she is still doing the "Craft Show" circuit, you have time to encourage this new artist. If you missed her at the Toronto Outdoor Show, go to her website to view her work and see what is next:

Hillary Webb at the Toronto Outdoor Show July 2006


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

cities today -- from migration and growth, to mobility and sustainable development. It will examine the role of architects and architecture in constructing democratic and sustainable urban environments, and their links to policymaking, governance and social cohesion. It will propose a manifesto for Cities of the 21st Century – focusing on the potential of cities to contribute to a more sustainable, democratic and equitable world.

The Sweater Lodge

It will also provide the professional audience with new and detailed information of the complex issues that affect urban growth today: new developments in transport, emerging forms of urban governance, and the new landscapes of housing, workplaces, and public institutions that are shaping the contemporary world.

The Canadian Design Studio of Pechet and Robb warm up the Venice Biennial in Architecture this coming fall with their installation called SweaterLodge. Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb run an award-winning interdisciplinary design practice, based in Vancouver, with backgrounds in both architecture and fine art. Since 1991, they have produced a portfolio of projects which include private residences, cemeteries, memorials, public art, commercial interiors, exhibitions, set designs and furniture. Their interest lies in developing environments which bridge the worlds of art and imagination to everyday life with a trademark theatricality, wit and cultural commentary.

SweaterLodge has been chosen through a national juried competition to represent Canada at the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture. It is a multi-media exhibit reflective of: Canada’s vast wilderness, our resourcefulness, our dedication to issues that affect urban growth today: new developments in transport, emerging forms of urban governance, and the new landscapes of housing, workplaces, and public institutions that are shaping the contemporary world.

The 10th Venice Biennale in Architecture began in 1984, adding a new component to a cultural institution that started in Venice in 1895, and has grown to include most aspects of Cultural production: visual arts, theatre, music, dance, literature and film. This year’s event which takes place from September 9th - November 19th will focus on the design of cities and their urban infrastructure and social dynamics, providing a unique international perspective on the relationship between architecture, society, and sustainability. The twelve-week exhibition will tackle the key issues facing

SweaterLodge has been chosen through a national juried competition to represent Canada at the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture. It is a multi-media exhibit reflective of: Canada’s vast wilderness, our resourcefulness, our dedication to sustainable living and, our collective enjoyment of outdoor recreation. The main element of SweaterLodge is a giant polar fleece sweater. Offering visitors a warm welcome, this common article of Canadian street wear is


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

amplified into an iconic architectural environment, reflecting how outdoor leisure lifestyle intersects with Vancouver urban living. The polar fleece fabric is made from recycled plastic drink containers. Suspended within the Canadian pavilion, the inhabited garment becomes a lodge, a voluminous glowing orange interior space, evoking fire light and the brilliance of out-in-the-woods safety wear.

and they rely on the generosity of government, corporate and private donations. People can donate on-line at All donations will receive an immediate tax receipt and would be greatly appreciated! Let’s get the Sweater Lodge to Venice and show what Canadian Design and Ingenuity is about Visit these sites

Fibre Active: introducing Lorraine Smith Lorraine Smith has been spinning since the early 1990's and is the Publisher/Editor of Spinners' Quarterly, a newsletter available four times a year in print. Spinner’s Quarterly is a forum for discussing how the ancient craft of spinning fits into our contemporary life. Lorraine has translated her passion for spinning into writing, lecturing, and giving workshops to a wide audience. Her ability to speak clearly about spinning in terms of its history, complex technical variations, and as a business, as well as a meditative, spiritual or creative occupation, makes spinning accessible to all.

As visitors enter the sweater, they encounter a series of digital films showing vignettes about a city that intertwines wilderness and modern urban life. Each projection is activated by a viewer peddling a stationary bicycle: the faster they peddle, the faster the video plays. The shipping crates and baggage used to transport the exhibition will transform to become pavilion furniture as SweaterLodge envisions a future where daily objects become multifunctional: a sweater becomes a lodge, packs become sofas, and bicycles become projectors. After the exhibition, the 400 square meter sweater will return to Canada for a public “sew-in” event where it will be recycled into hats, scarves and mitts for charitable giving.

I met Lorraine when I joined the Toronto Guild of Spinners and Weavers She spoke of a community connected by a common interest rather than geography; revealing a story of the active exchange of goods, information, and hospitality that is very prevalent in the world of Fibre and Textile arts. This validated my Guild experience which, from the outside, can appear as nothing more than an administrative money

The Design Firm of Pechet and Robb is in the home stretch for fundraising. They are hoping to raise another $25, 000 before the end of August. Creating a unique and memorable exhibit of this magnitude is an expensive proposition,


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

making machine – with ever increasing membership and workshop fees and no interest in maintaining standards or the passing on of traditional knowledge (similar to the medieval guilds, which were more about exclusion, maintaining market value, and discouraging innovation than about keeping standards). Lorraine’s determination to keep this age old traditional “craft” a living art makes her an artist to watch. A Support Spindle made of a double-pointed sock needle with femo bead and soy sauce bowl.

Lorraine Smith spindling on a boat in Winnipeg near the forks full moon rising over the shores of Lake Superior fibres include wool, camel and alpaca

Toronto to Victoria, Canada by Square 2003 a story blanket in fibre. Spun and knitted by Lorraine Smith 2003-2004

Fire on the Mountain: three different wool types, including a strand of dyed orange yarn given to me by a study group of the Edmonton guild I visited, which had just completed a series on dyeing using onion bags and two separate dye pots.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

like a charm) and found a double-pointed sock needle that matched the picture in Spin Off. Now all I needed was a whorl. I knew of a shop in Toronto’s Kensington Market--Courage My Love--that sells a variety of beads. As I opened drawer after drawer of miscellaneous beads, shells and buckles in this curious shop of sundry vintage tidbits and hippy hangovers, poking my needle into each object hoping for a snug fit and a balanced spin, the proprietor came over to sceptically inquire if I needed assistance.

Spun Out by Lorraine Smith It was spring of 2003 and I was restless. The grating sound of the corporate cubicle grind was more than my subway knitting could soften. I was tired. I was grouchy. I needed to stop complaining and do something about it. Around this time, I had been more actively following the chatter on the yahoo discussion group, CanSpin, a collection of handspinners from across the country. There was so much going on; it seemed, from interesting spinning events to general support of a fibrey, and sometimes not-so-fibrey, nature. All this spinning talk got my subconscious churning, and with each rotation through the revolving doors of my office tower, the need to spin away from the conventional rut I was in became clearer.

“I’m looking for a spindle whorl,” I replied sheepishly, assuming this would not appease his retail suspicion. To my surprise, he said he used to work at the Royal Ontario Museum, and spent a lot of time with the South American artifacts, including many spindles. He knew all about handspinning tools, and was keen to help me find just the right bead. The two of us set about looking, until two good candidates were found, for 75 cents each. (I only needed one, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a back-up.)

This professional discontent and harking of supportive spinning behaviour on-line coincided with one more crucial piece of the puzzle: an article in Spin Off (“Sushi Spindles,” Spring 2003, page 83) about making support spindles using knitting needles and femo whorls. I suddenly knew my inner truth: I must make a support spindle, quit my job, and travel the country by bus, spinning my way from place to place.

Later that night, I sequestered myself in order to learn how to use the spindle I had made. I have been spinning for over 10 years, yet the concept of spinning off the tip had eluded me. I surfed the net and scoured my fibre library looking for pictures or even just helpful hints. The most useful reference I found came from chapter 8 of Connie Delaney’s Spindle

I raided our cupboard for a likely support bowl (a little ceramic dish previously dedicated to soy sauce worked


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Spinning from Novice to Expert. After two solid hours, punctuated by the clang of the needle hitting the support bowl as I dropped it yet again, I was finally drafting with one hand and making a relatively decent singles.

certainly no meetings about the project requirements and desired outcomes. I just wanted to enter into a cross-country dialogue about spinning, with other spinners, as well as the unsuspecting, non-spinning public.

Next I posted a note on CanSpin about how I was thinking of traveling out west on an extended spinning adventure. Would anyone be interested in getting together to spin along my route? Were there any events I should aim to include in my travels? In the following days I was inundated with suggestions, supportive notes, and even invitations to come and stay with people along the trail. It was very heartening, and it gave me the validation I needed. I gave my notice at work, talked my partner into feeding our cats for the summer, bought a 60-day Greyhound bus pass and boarded the bus on June 23, first stop Sudbury, Ontario. My mom--who is a member of the Sudbury Weavers and Spinners Guild--lives there, and it, seemed like the right way to start off.

July 30/03 Peace Arch Spinners and Weavers of White Rock BC at the annual Spin In. Over 70 spinners came from far and wide How to describe what transpired? The memories are accordioned into a sense of gratitude to the spinning community for so graciously showing me around each area I visited. I attended “official” spinins in Saskatoon, Red Deer, Edmonton, White Rock, and Chilliwack. There were also less formal gatherings of spinners (we do like to gather, don’t we?) in: Blucher and North Battleford (both near Saskatoon), Rock Creek and Medicine Hat. I met Canada’s largest herd of Alpacas, just outside of Saskatoon; numerous flocks of sheep of various breeds in Saskatchewan and Alberta; several angora bunnies; and a group of flax researchers in Saskatoon.

My “plan” was to meander from Toronto to Victoria and back, with a vague schedule and a spindle on my lap, spinning up yarns and knitting squares depicting the people and places I saw, or whatever else inspired me. I hoped I could spin and knit enough to compile a small blanket, but I didn’t enforce that vision as I wanted the journey to unfold as it should--no more rigid schedules and agendas, and


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

I was given (to my great surprise and delight, even though by the end I could scarcely close my backpack) samples of every kind of fibre known to the handspinner, some dyed, combed, blended or right from the animal’s back. My only constraint was time, as there was obviously an unlimited amount of engaging spinnerly things to see and do along the way.

learning to ply using her running shoes All of these experiences, combined with the tremendous generosity, fascinating conversations, heart-warming peeks into other people’s lives, and many long hours spinning on the bus (quietly musing to myself or chatting with the often curious neighbour beside me) are knitted up into 99 colourful 5” x 5” squares. There is still work to be done--blocking and assembling the squares, knitting a border, and deciding how this blanket will fit into my life--but the gathering phase is done. I’m back in Toronto and ready to forge a path that spins me through a more pleasant, fibrefriendly series of doors each day.

I had to improvise as I went, learning to ply using my running shoes (see photo), using my arm as a niddy-noddy, blending colours with my hand, and enjoying the luxury of actual spinning tools when they were offered at a spinning host’s home. The varied nature of the yarns I spun--kept diverse by the range of fibres, preparations, and circumstances (it was very windy on the ferry to Victoria!)--will ensure that the finished piece has character and depth.

The above was the beginning of a three part essay that was published in Fibre Focus the member’s magazine of the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners that was published over three issues from fall 03 until summer 04. Along with the initial story of the journey the essays go on in part one and two to give detailed technical information for using a Support Spindle, In part three Lorraine talks about telling the story/ giving lectures to various guilds and non fibre people and the response to this tail of community. Spun Out is reprinted here with permission of Fibre Focus. Lorraine smith can be contacted by e-mail Websites for Organizations mentioned in this article are Ontario Handweavers and Spinners which has extensive links to fibre sources and events Toronto Guild of Spinners and Weavers


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Re-signing Icarus © Tim Jocelyn: 1985 & Tim Jocelyn Queen Street West 1979 the heart of a moment in time. The post punk, new wave music scene was: art school bands, was: upstairs at the Bev, the Cabana Room at the Spadina Hotel, Biff, the Drastic Measures, the Dishes, and Martha and the Muffins. Painting was back according to John Bentley Mayes and Gary Michael Dault, Carmen Lamana was the main stream Yorkville gallery showing the Queen street artist who actually had studios in the Queen and Spadina neighbourhood, John Brown, Sybil Goldstein, Oliver Girling, Ray Johnson and John Scott, YYZ was above an A&P west of Spadina. Leighton Barrette, Gerald Franklin and Lucas where putting on Fashion extravagances in alternative places. File, Impulse, Only Paper Today, Fuse, the Soho News, Village Voice and miraculously the Sunday New York Times available on Sunday were what you read. Sunday Brunch at the Parrot, or plain Breakfast at the Stem. The Peter Pan and newly opened Queen’s Mother Café were the eateries. All this before the Cameron became the centre for a generation. fSomewhere in all this with no one questioning his right to be there or was it fashion or was it art stood Tim Jocelyn seemingly standing alone and out standing. His combination of wearable and wall art and upholstered furnishing, made of silks satins and leather were referential of art history and contemporary life. They were dramatic, flippant, garish and subtle at the same time. His life was not long enough and was lost by complications due to AIDS in 1987. Ground breaking when working his work remains ahead of its time fibre Quarterly reprinted/ posted “The Ascent of Icarus” by curator and art historian Stewart Reid from “The Art of Tim Jocelyn”. Published by McClelland and Stewart in 2002, and edited by Sybil Goldstein. It can be read on-line at as in keeping with our copyright agreement with McClelland and Stewart

Images above: Re-Signing Icarus, © Tim Jocelyn, 1985, materials: silk, leather, dimensions: 41 x 165 x 10 cm, 16 x 65 x 4 in. collection of: MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, University of Guelph Tim Jocelyn in front of Cities of the Red Night, 1984 photo: Tony Wilson, courtesy of the Artist Foundation


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Cities of the Red Night Š Tim Jocelyn, 1984, materials: silk and leather, dimensions: 97 x 152 cm, 38 x 60 in. collection of: MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, University of Guelph, photo: Michael Rafelson Tim Jocelyn in Front of Astrolabe, 1986, photo: Tony Wilson, courtesy of The Artist Foundation


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Joanna Rogers: elemental artist I have know Joanna since the early 1980s while she was working on an Honours BA in Anthropology from Trent University and was involved in community radio, performance and theatre before becoming interested in visual arts. When I first met her she was involved in the international audio/ radio art community editing an audio “zine” called “Earmeat” and a radio show about that community where sampling and rap were being born. She was on top of a very cutting edge art scene that used audio collage as basic building block. As a visual artist she created and exhibited collages for seven years before moving to Vancouver and enrolling in the Textile Arts program at Capilano College. She has been working as a fibre artist since graduating 1994. Her studies of Anthropology and Textile History along with her collage skill inform her art. Interestingly, the historical and cultural impact of fabric is to be found in the archaeological record, not in the realm of Art History . This neatly links two areas of study and brings added relevance to both. Her work has been shown in public and artistrun galleries across Canada and in the United States. It is represented in private collections and public collections. Her work has also appeared in magazines such as Artichoke and Fiberarts. -JL-

Air. 2006. 12" x 24". Painted and dyed silk, beads, ribbon


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Earth. 2006. 9" x 20". Painted and dyed silk, beads, ribbon


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

This Mortal Coil; A Cure for Mortality. 2005. 12" x 20". Painted and printed silk and canvas, bottles, hair, bones, petals, ribbon, beads.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Flight; A Cure for Vertigo. 2005. 12" x 20". Painted and printed organza, bottles, feathers, beads


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Enigmas # 4

An investigation into the potential and significance of codes, puzzles, signs, symbols and chance. Enigmas # 1 & 7 will be on view at the Art Gallery of Alberta as part of the Focus on Fibre exhibit from April 21 until May 30, 2006

you can see more of Joanna Rodgers work at her website


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Finishing School: An Education in Textiles There are many ways of getting a technical based textile education in Canada ; Universities and Colleges provide numerous courses and approaches in the material arts. With the recent elevation of some Art Colleges to University levels, you can do a diploma or Degree and continue through to achieve a Masters and Doctorate in Textiles. This is a relatively new and welcome phenomenon, giving Textile Arts the academic respect they have not always had. Formerly, specializing in art history with a focus on textile traditions, costume design, and history, or even chemistry, was one way of moving through the university system to achieve an acceptable degree. Painting or other "Studio Arts", without a focus on fibre based arts, has been the standard route. While Community Colleges, with a nodding acknowledgement to the Bauhaus adage "Form follows Function", taught industrial production and had oriented surface design towards fashion or interior design applications. Functional art, rather than art for art’s sake. The Community Colleges, developed almost forty years ago, were to act as job training centres, replacing the almost defunct apprenticeship tradition. The industrial jobs in textiles that people were being trained for, along with the industry itself, no longer exist in this country, except in rare cases. With employment no longer being the main focus / result of this training, there is more opportunity for an innovative, creative approach to fibre and textiles "Arts". Now all directions are supported from first year through post doc. This is the first article taking a look at the students coming out of the current educational process. A process that is changing: as computers that require little classroom space are taking the place of yardage screening tables. In May, at the Arta Gallery in Toronto’s historic “Distillery District”, I encountered the 2206 graduating class of Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning’s Textile Department, and offered them this space in which to introduce themselves and to participate in an ongoing series of ”Check Ups", in the tradition of the documentary film series "14 Up", but in web form. The Textiles Studio, Crafts & Design Program, Sheridan College The Textiles Studio at Sheridan Institute offers one of the few training programs in Canada for those interested in pursuing a career as a professional craft practitioner. With an excellent technologist, faculty and facilities, the studio is focussed on developing each student to their full potential. During a student’s time in the studio, they engage in a broad range of textile techniques, including felt and paper making, heat-setting, dying, printing, stitching and constructing surfaces. They also learn both mixed media and digital surface design skills. Throughout their studies, students are encouraged to explore the possibilities inherent in materials and to experiment, observe and respond through their work. There are many options for students upon leaving the program; graduates may focus their practice on one-off or commissioned work, small batch production, textiles for theatre and film or design for large-scale production. The focus of the studio is to enable students to design and create richly imaginative and creative textile work. Class of 2006 When I saw their show at Arta Gallery I was intrigued by the diversity of the work given that over the years Sheridan's faculties provide the space and equipment for large scale repeat pattern screening of yardage. Printed cloth was to be expected and though the processing varied the over all quality was consistent and high. It was the individual approach and usage that made both the exhibition and allowed each artist to show unique work.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Not all the students are presented here due to the time frame to pull this together and it is Amy Belanger I must thank for coordinating who is presented here. Amy is continuing her fibre education at NSCAD this fall, while two others Nora Deacon and Thea Hains are now in residence at the Harbourfront Centre's Craft Studio on Toronto lakefront . One other Ange Yake has taken up studio space at in Mississauga's Living Arts Centre. With short artist bios and six images six of the artist will speak for themselves below. Due to tree planting, getting married, preparing for the Toronto Out Door Show and other circumstances those who are not presented here will be added as they come in.

Amy Belanger

ILLUSTRATED FAMILY DOLLS IN CASE, Natural linen, found fabrics, pigment Case 8”x12”, Dolls 6”x3” Illustrations, silkscreen printing, machine sewing, Jan 2006


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

3. ODE TO THE WILDERNESS - Minks Wool and found fabrics 15”x 3.5” Machine and hand sewing, layering, and construction May 2006 2. ODE TO THE WILDERNESS OUTFITS - Collection Reclaimed Fabrics (bed linens, used clothing), dye, Size 10, Hand dyeing and printing, draping, garment construction, machine sewing, and embellishing, Jan- June 2006


: Amy Belanger is a recent graduate of Sheridan College’s Craft and Design textile program. She will soon be based in Halifax at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design continuing her education in textiles and pursuing her interests in sustainable design. Her work integrates reclaimed and natural fabrics with handmade qualities, which emphasize the natural disintegration of materials. Amy has a background in environmental resource studies. She visited an eco-community in Costa Rica, worked on organic farms in New Zealand, and was involved with various outdoor education programs around the Toronto Area. These experiences along with her work in textiles have encouraged her interest in global sustainability. As part of her sustainable efforts, Amy has always enjoyed finding odd and interesting vintage objects and clothing. She incorporates these findings in her work, whether it is in choice of fabrics or in design. She uses scrap fabrics, old clothing, bedroom linens, and various silk screening, sewing or embellishing techniques to create each piece individually. It is important to Amy, while two pieces can be alike, that each one be one of a kind. She wants the wearer to feel as though they have stumbled across something highly unlikely. Amy recently completed a collection called Ode to the Wilderness, shown at Arta Gallery in May 2006. The work is a playful tale about personal heritage including two outfits, faux mink accessories, and a series of dolls. The garments are made with found fabrics. They are dyed, layered and sculpted with an organic sensibility. Each is silkscreen printed with images of old letters and postcards collected from storage spaces, vintage shops and family albums. The dolls are illustrated with family members representing different generations. The collection acts as an interpretation of family history, which references traditional garments, such as fur accessories and flannel plaids, and romanticizes about a culture that prevailed in a time of war and hardships


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

IN MEMORY OF, Reclaimed Fabrics 14” x 10” Cutting out designs and drawing with thread Aug 2005

Kate Busby My passion for craft stems from my desire to create intimacy between people and their belongings. I believe that craft speaks a language; it expresses the beauty of touch and texture, the excitement of colour and design, and the ability of an object to take in memories. As a textile artist I strive to create wellcrafted, functional objects. I feel that in our present culture quality and beauty are being overlooked as demand to follow changing trends mean that goods are quickly bought and discarded. I want to create textiles that will be cherished by their owners, and appreciated for their lasting aesthetic and durability. I studied fine art and art history at the University of Toronto. My love of collage, texture, and pattern led to an interest in textiles, and they became an integral part of my work. My interest turned from fine arts to craft, and I went on to study textiles in the Crafts and Design program at Sheridan College. This provided me with the skills to dye and print my own fabrics. As an artist I struggled with the physical barrier between my work and the viewer; my work’s emphasis on texture was lost due to the audience’s apprehension to touch artwork. As a craftsperson I am able to create functional objects, this means that I am able to connect with the user through both sight and touch. My recent work consists of large-scale pieced blankets that combine bold colour, varied texture, and a playful mixture of pattern. My blankets are designed through collage, and then embellished. I combine many fabrics, including wool, silk, felt, and velveteen, to create surfaces that can be explored and appreciated. The majority of the fabrics I use are hand dyed and hand printed; I also incorporate hand stitch and embroidery into my work. I believe that hand stitching speaks a language; its narrative references the maker, and alludes to the human element inherent to all craft.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

3 LAURA, Silk, wool, and cotton, glass beads, embroidery floss, 25” x 38”, Discharge and dye printing, machine pieced, embellished, February 2005

4. LAURA (detail) Discharge and dye on silk, wool, and cotton, glass beads, embroidery floss, 25” x 38”, 11” x 17” , Discharge and dye printing, machine pieced, embellished, February 2005

Norah Deacon Artist Biography I am interested in the relationships that people have with their belongings. I believe that craftspeople have the opportunity to make objects that people connect with, giving them reason to hold on to their possessions. My aim is to make work that is timeless and treasured, invoking a connection with the collector. I create both functional and sculptural work using a range of materials and processes. These include natural fibres such as linen, wool delaine, silk pongee, velveteen, yarns and handmade paper, in combination with silk-screening, devoré, stitch, needle lace and other handwork. Prior to my three years in the Craft and Design Textile Program at Sheridan College, I studied Studio Art and Art History at the University of Guelph. I focused on photography and printmaking for my studio classes and I completely immersed myself in Art History. These four years formed a strong foundation from which I have drawn many of my ideas of art as well as craft. My time at Sheridan has continued to expand my viewpoint. Through refining my technical skill, I have developed a visual language to better express myself. I have recently begun a three-year residency at the Harbourfront Centre’s Craft Studio. Harbourfront provides the support needed to continue my development as a craftsperson, while exposing me to and including me in the larger world of makers, exhibitions and workshops. My most recent body of work speaks of my fascination with the detail and care sewn into vintage garments, handkerchiefs, gloves, linens and antique lace. Working with handmade paper, linen and devoré in a sculptural manner, this work references vulnerability and the strength that can be found within it. There is an inherent fragility in delicate garments, while at the same time a tangible sense of security. The custom of heirlooms and passing objects from generation to generation is increasingly becoming less common. I aim to create garments that offer a level of attachment in a world of increasing disposability.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Image on left: 2. Lace Patterned Slip (detail) Linen, devoré & appliqué, Size 6 November 2005

4. Lace Linen Intimates, Linen, cotton & devoré, 6 in. x 18 in. & 8 in. x 13 in., February/March 2006


5. Lace Linen Undies, Linen, cotton & devoré, 8 in x 13 in. February/March 2006 ( above)

3. Lace Patterned Slip (detail) Linen, stitch, polyester thread & devoré Size 6, November 2005


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Thea Haines I have always been fascinated with the relationship that people have with their belongings – which are discarded, which are cherished? When I admire the everyday items that my grandmothers made, I see they are simply quilts and tablecloths, skilfully made, yet they are something more – beautiful objects. I am interested in clothing and its relationship its wearer as well as the viewer. With that in mind I create garments that tell stories or exhibit different personalities. Many of these garments are somewhat nostalgic in their temperament; aprons, circle skirts and cardigan sweaters are the clothing of yesteryear. I include interactive elements with these garments, such as brooches that are removable and can be worn with other clothes. I also create story-book-like illustrations using machine embroidery, cutwork, tufting and appliqué. I use only natural fibre fabrics– cotton velvet, linen, silk and wool, which allow for hand- dyeing and screen printing with transparent dyes. My most recent work, Dream House is series of ‘storybook’ aprons exploring domesticity, childhood, adulthood, love and nostalgia. In the past, women collected linens in hope chests, the contents of which reflected her desires for the future. While gathering her trousseau, a woman contemplated her future, and the cloth became permeated with her wishes and dreams. Each apron acts as a vehicle conveying different stories of future lives, speaking to each of our emotional needs and material desires that might compose our own Dream House, the vessel in which all our hopes and emotions are contained. Prior to graduating from the three-year course in Textiles at Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program, I completed a combined Honours Degree in Studio Art and Comparative Literature at McMaster University. My studio thesis work consisted of primarily painting, printmaking and sewn construction exploring narratives of human relationships influenced by my studies in literature. Presently I have just begun a three-year residency in textiles at Harbourfront Centre’s Craft Studio. My love of literature and story-telling will continue to inform my work for years to come. 1. Dream House Aprons, installation view, Aprons – Screen print with dyes on linen, Birds – Screen print with dyes on cotton velvet; wool, wool fleece. 183cm x 214cm 2006 (left) 2 . We’ll build a house in the clearing. Embroidery and cutwork on linen 31cm x 26cm 2006

1. 2.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

3. Black apples. Embroidery, appliqué, reverse appliqué and cutwork on linen, 24cm x 18.5cm 2006

6. Briar Patch, Polychromatic screen print with dyes on cotton velvet, 76cm x 128cm, 2005


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Bettina Lee Bettina Lee is a recent graduate of the Craft and Design textile studio, at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. She began her education in Sheridan’s Art Fundamentals Program, where she developed her skills in visual studies. Her interests in construction and illustration led her to continue on to Sheridan’s textile program. Raised in Peterborough, Bettina spent her childhood surrounded by nature. Memories of roaming hills, forests, creeks, and an abundance of plant life have instilled her with a love and appreciation for the natural world. Bettina draws on these memories to create images of nature, a recurring theme in her work. Through her designs, Bettina shows the fragility and deterioration of nature, expressed through her use of unfinished edges and the delicateness of her pieces. Bettina’s recent work includes capelets and scarves made with delicate silks, cottons, and wool. She creates beautiful surfaces through dying, silk-screening, appliqué, and stitch. Her use of multiple colours, placement prints, and varied embellishment techniques, allow for one of a kind pieces within a series. For her Capelet Series, Bettina took inspiration from the Victorian era, evoking its romantic qualities within her work. This series, along with her scarves, were displayed at her latest exhibition, She’s Crafty, at Arta Gallery in May 2006.

1. Capelet #1 Materials: cotton velvet, silk pongee, silk dupioni, remazol dyes and thread, Dimensions: 16in x w 28in, Process: winched dyed, pot dyed, ruffled, silk-screened and free motion machine stitched, February 2006 2. untitled, Materials: silk dupioni, remazol dyes, discharge print paste and thread, Dimensions: 6in x 42in, Process: Pot dyed, silkscreened, discharge, cut away and free motion machine embroidery, April 2006 3 Felt Leaf Scarf, Materials: merino wool, silk dupioni, remazol dye, and thread, Dimensions: 6in x 42in, Process: hand felted, pot dyed, silk-screened, cut away and free motion machine embroidery, April 2006

6. untitled, Materials: silk dupioni, remazol dyes, pigment and thread Dimensions: 6in x 24 in, Process: Pot dyed, silk-screened, cut away and free motion machine embroidery, April 2006


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Lee Maszaros "All personal relationships are complex and fragile. They can go from being blissfully harmonious, to bitterly disjointed in a few precious moments. It is these moments of intense feeling and emotion that are universal to all. My work revolves around these feelings of joy and sadness, of secrets and stories. I explore the art of storytelling and illustration through textiles and mixed media. I am inspired by things close to me, which also hold universal nostalgia in their own right. Books, bicycles, humans and hearts are all commonly explored images within my work. My textile procedures include screen printing pigment on cotton as well as on paper, digital printing, tea dyeing, machine embroidery, and fabric collage. My work is then strengthened by the addition of non-textile elements, such as paper collage, markers, and pens. I am also very interested in the important role which scale can play in my work. Very large and commanding elements, mixed with very precious and petite elements, have the ability to create tension and dialogue within a piece. In the future I plan to continue to explore the blending of traditional textile processes with other disciplines and materials. In the fall of 2006 I will begin the second phase of my textile education, attending the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. I think this opportunity will allow me the freedom to pursue my ideas in a new and fresh environment."

1: Page from the artists book Double Dutch. Materials: Craft paper, markers, silk-screened pigment, appliquĂŠd fabric, marker transferred photocopy. April 2006, 2. Woven Sample, Materials: Digitally printed cotton, black cotton, and thread. December 2005

3. It’s a Pressing Matter. Materials: pen, marker, watercolour paper, pencil crayon. June 2006 4: Bicycle, Materials: pigment on unbleached cotton, fabric markers. October 2005.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Ange Yake - Textile Artist I am a recent honours graduate from the 3 Year Craft and Design - Textile Program at Sheridan College, in Oakville. My keen interest in fabrics and textile design started in high school, where I was introduced to all of the different dying and tie dye techniques by my teacher from Africa. After learning these methods, I became fascinated with fabrics which ultimately led me to attend Sheridan’s Craft and Design Program. Designing textiles for interior applications is my passion. The inspiration for my work comes from objects in nature, textural qualities, and a desire to refresh old objects and reuse materials. My imagery incorporates free-hand sketches with digital design techniques to produce motifs and final concepts. The use of the polychromatic screen printing technique enables me to create hand painted elements in my work. The patterns that emerge have a textural quality and reflect depth through over-printing. Working with this method allows me the freedom to create surface texture and layering, leading to rich colours. I merge design techniques such as devoré printing and polychromatic screen printing to further enhance the look of textures and layers. The use of diverse fabrics such as cotton, linen and rayon further contributes to the creation of surface texture. I manipulate my fabrics through devoré printing, layering, cutting and machine stitching to create depth, surface texture, and patterns within my designs. I am currently a Textile Resident artist at the Living Arts Centre, in Mississauga, Ontario, which will provide me with an opportunity to further advance my hands-on creative expression with textiles. This exposure will provide the prospect of connecting and interacting with other artists, professionals and the public.

1. Classic Keepsake, Materials: Linen, Rayon, Thread, Dimensions: 17.5" Dia. Process: Pot Dyeing, Devoré, Machine Stitching. March 2006, 2. Classic Comfort, Materials: Antique Fabric, Linen, Dye, Thread. Dimensions: 28”h x 29”d x 28”w, Process: Pot Dyeing, Devoré, Machine Stitching. March 2006 The Sheridan Students here have gone of into the real world in various ways, some have gone on to do more schooling, and others are in residencies at Cultural studio facilities like Harbourfront in Toronto. A few have become involved with other artist to open a co-operative textile Print Studio at 401 Richmond Street. This space is going to be interesting to watch over the next few years as are these young artists at the beginning of careers that may prove interesting to both them and us. Watch the website as well as the Magazine for periodic updates from them.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Mission Statement: to Google or not to Goolge To ignore the divisions, address the arguments, dig up the history and present a balanced, unbiased, noncondescending picture of Contemporary Canadian Fibre and Textile Arts to a broad interested audience. As is evidenced by: attendance to corporate presented events such as “the Creative Sewing and Needle Work Show” “One of a Kind” and “the Interior Design Show”, the increasing programming of Fibre/Textiles exhibitions in Public and Commercial Galleries, the growth of paid memberships in Guilds, Networks, and Associations of Weavers, Quilters and Knitters, the interest in making and buying of things fibre is on the increase. While being presented in “How To” segments of television shows, on the pages of magazines and books, as “Kits” and in workshop situations the bringing together of practicing “Professionals” either studio Artist or Design industry and the dedicated “Hobbyist” is generating ideas, cash, fear, loathing and an excessive number of objects not to mentions concepts. With an increase in enrolment to and graduation from Post Secondary Fibre programmes and the disappearance of both Art and Domestic Science from the general curriculum of the average North American High School with shift to a “I want to be a Supper Celebrity Designer Television Show Host” mentality, we are raising a generation with no reality biased ambition with the skill to acquire information at the speed of light through the internet in a post historical world. “To Google is to know, NOT.” (I am quoting myself as far as I know) Information acquired/ “googled” is not the same as knowledge or technical skill gained and that is the conundrum in which all information archivist and presenters must work with. Fibre Quarterly will take advantage of both the internet as a presentation method because of its inherent nature to redirect the user, and the pop culture “Vintage” object still and formerly know as “a Magazine” While using a standard magazine format; editorial and promotional along with the archival and interactive abilities of the web. Our editorial content with look at both art/craft historical development and practice from mid twentieth century until now while at the same time present a portrait of the rise and fall of the Canadian textile industries (mills, clothing and interior design applications) in both the context of “political economics “ and environmental impact. The interactive component will allow subscribers/ supporters and visitors to exchange information and engage in discussion. All this will be presented in a slick high designed, professionally written yet accessible style the home quilter and staunch academic can both find informative and inspiring. “Why reach for the moon when we have the stars” Joe Lewis, Publisher


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Allyson Mitchell’s “Sasshunk” /06, “Sassquog”/05 and “Sassfag”/06 are part of Fray an exhibition located at both the Koffler Gallery until October 13) and the TMC (Textile Museum of Canada until January 7 2007) and featuring the work of nineteen artist from across north America .


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

... before I start running around to book launches and interior deigns shows ( main stream and Alternative) Its more a matter of what I didn't see, didn't get to until the gallery closed on the last day of the exhibition or my favorite excuse "the gallery moved" which is the truth. Carl Stewart weaver, needle point and now Quilt artist from Ottawa had a show scheduled for the O'Connor Gallery on Maitland Street in Dec only the installation turned into a move to a new space at Queen and Parliament. "Fragments: recent quilt works" December 15 2005 – January 15 2006 is a collection created from mattress covers, scavenged from discards and cleaned with in an inch of their lives, pieced appliquéd, sequenced

Around town... Feb 20/ 06 Before I start I must pause and note the passing of Aiko Suzuki an artist whose work has been a small part of my life since I moved to Toronto until quite recently. For a period of time I worked in a restaurant across the street from the Toronto Reference Library just north of Young and Bloor, depending on my shift I had a habit of entering the library and standing in the lobby breathing deeply, listening intently and seeing a Louisiana swamp. I was transported out of downtown Toronto to a place I have only seen in films and on TV and felt in my soul by a piece of Akio Suzuki entitled "Lyra". Design as a site specific the work hung in the lobby from 1981 to 2004. There was a gentle transcendent quality to it that always brought a smile to my face. Watching people walk by with out notice, hearing the sound of water dampening the interior sounds of the bustling first floor, looking up through the piece into the four storey atrium that blended with the muted colours of the hanging strands of wool that held the air, its moisture, its dust. Over time it had become a living organism it had life energy of its own. The first floor has recently been redesigned Lyra has been removed to allow for cleaning and maintenance and I miss it. I am sadden by the thought that its creator will not be able to see Lyra return to the place it was meant to be and that there will be no more new work to be seen or imagined by Akio Suzuki 19372005.

and generally embellished these Fragments became objects of beauty. Found mattresses are part of Carl's always developing textile vocabulary. With his web project "Fragments from a Discarded Civilization" circa 1997 he provides a simple tour with maps and images of found mattresses, the variety of imagery is surprising, We don't see mattress as works of art, they are after all functional object and more often then not cover, out of sight.

Carl Stewart at the O’Conner Gallery December 15 2005- January 15 2006


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

There was one piece in the show witch brought together several different floras, collaged with a depth of perspective reminiscent of Japanese brush paintings or Art Nouveau prints. This was Carl Stewart’s second show with the O'Connor Gallery which is celebrating its tenth year anniversary with a larger space at 145 Berkeley St. suite 100 at the south east corner of Queen East and Berkeley. Carl Stewart is a member of the Enriched Bread Artist Studios in Ottawa at 951 Gladstone Ave. Their website is other fibre artist include Uta Riccius, Karen Joron, who's installation work, "Ruffle" is scheduled for January 2007 at the Mississippi Mills Textile Museum in Almonte Ontario.

for her knitted house “Cozy “ which was show twice to bracket/ mark the millennium; on Wards island at 13 Third street in November 1999 and at Trinity Square in April 2000 if nothing else. It was constructed of recycled knit ware pieced together to cover an actual one story bungalow/ cottage and along with an exhibition called Wool Work at the Textile Museum in 2000 which featured knitted sculptures of everyday household objects in a series: Untitled (Domestic Interiors) and Untitled (Garden Box) along with Casting Off (a series of text based hand knitted “tapestry” which were left unfinished (Casting Off being use here with the double meaning of both finishing a knitted work as well as throwing away).

This opening was the same bitter cold night that the Gladstone Hotel had its grand opening, over the weekend the "Artist" designed guest rooms were open for the public to tour. I made three attempts to see Kathryn Walters Felt room but it was always locked and which oddly enough is not picture in the website either. You can find her on line at the FELT Studio website. There are some very cool designs and designers represented in these rooms and of course the annual "Come Up To My Room alternative interior design show is on Feb 24-26/06 that brings me back to today, there were a few more interesting shows on the go before Christmas but it was Christmas and that means run run run... it is a theme in my life

It is the three Untitled (Garden Boxes) pieces included in this recent exhibition which caught my attention. An exhibition consisting of a retrospective of “Mandalas” that Janet Morton has produce through out her career. A Mandala, in the Tibetan Mandala tradition is according to the Oxford dictionary, is “a circular figure of a religious symbol of the universe” and as Morton who has an appreciation for Gertrude Stein “rose is a rose is a rose” (an all encompassing circular statement of existence) says in her artist statement “In hindsight, I realize I had been creating work using the circle form as a sort of personal meditation all along.” She has worked the circle into her “Garden Boxes”. The “Garden Boxes” are in a long tradition of putting things in boxes to preserve protection or remember i.e. Reliquaries that housed bits of bone fragments or cloth or other objects supposedly belonging to Christ or some saint. It is a tradition that reached an apex in Victorian times when any thing and everything thing was put under glass. The

Janet Morton Full Circle at Paul Petro April 14 – May 13 2006 While wondering around looking at photos in the middle of May I was fortunate enough to drop in on the last day of the Janet Morton’s "Full Circle” show at the Paul Petro Gallery. Janet Morton should be known to Textile fans


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Victorians like Morton created elaborate reefs made of dried flowers, hair (mourning reefs), seed and even insects (as was seen in the small companion show to A Terrible Beauty at the TMC) These three boxes of recycled sweaters, wire, wood and glass were monochromatic in colour scheme, one red, one grey and one white. Each had a collection of fruits, flowers, branches and leaves each made of distinctly different hand or industrial knitted clothe using different size yarns giving a unique appearance to each element then placed in a knit lined deep shadow box frame complete with glass (coloured glass with the Red piece) They have a haunting beauty along with a sense of both whimsy and irony. Duality is consistent throughout most of Janet Morton’s work.

combines with the feminist and post feminist theory the spiritual meaning of universal wholeness they become an indictment against the current industrialpolitical combine’s stupidity. Yet they remain pleasing to look at and there in lies yet another layer of contradiction. They could also just be an interesting interpretation of an ancient symbol as seen through contemporary eyes, either way it was a show worth seeing by an artist with who continues to intrigue To find more information about Janet Morton For her CV go to x.shtml Wool Work Catalogue is available from the Textile Museum Shop ks.html -jl-

In many of the other Mandalas she combines “found” industrial made object then hand works them with traditional fine art (painting, drawing) or textile ( stitching, embroidery) construction or finishing practices. As Reef making was a repast of the supposedly idle Victorian Lady who had to fill in time each day between “good works” and the leaving of ones visiting cards, the skill, and the labour or time intensive work involved in creating these objects has only in the last thirty been placed into the art history discourse. In one piece she has sandwich the objects (cutlery, sugar packets among others) between sheets of clear mid weight plastic sewn them in then pieced them together using a gradation of size from large to small to create a pleasing balance of design that easily draws you in. These works are pleasing to look at but upon reflection they have a complication of meaning that isn’t ever simple. When you start to look at the individual objects and consider that perhaps they have been rescued from ending up in landfill as toxic waist the ecological politics then

Yurts, Camel Trappings a Salt Bag or Two On Wednesday May 31 “Wandering Weavers: Nomadic Traditions of Asia” open at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto. On June first I attended a Media Tour (which turned out to be a private


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

tour) of the exhibition given by the curator Natalia Nekrassova. A soft spoken, knowledgeable and passionate person, she is more then willing to give you as much information as you want, while brining you back to the objects on display. She begins her tour with the basic fact that the Museum has over 400 pieces in the collection from which to draw on and how she categorized her focus into four areas: the portable dwellings (Yurt and Tent), the animals that move them (Camel, donkey, mule and horse) the packing equipment for the move (bags of specific construction for specific purposes) and the transition from a traditional Nomadic to contemporary static existence.

woven clothes of plain and warp faced weaves where fashion into garments… Let’s face it words with out the images or actual pieces to view can leave one losing interest easily. If it is the roll of the museum to educate and it is in the mandate of the Textile Museum of Canada to do just that. This exhibition is an opportunity to learn about a way of life that is disappearing in a part of the world that is the current headline of every news outlet on the planet. The weaving among other fibre processing skills that are in the blood and bone of these traditional nomadic peoples are in danger of disappearing not through lack of interest by this new generation but by the reality that they are simply being killed. You can’t remove the politics of region from which these object came from this exhibition and perhaps it adds to its importance. Natalia Nekrassova spoke of a moment in time when the Russian left Afghanistan and before the Taliban shut it down as a period of time in which westerners could travel and shop and many textile pieces where brought out, some of which ended up in the TMC. While looking at this show it should be apparent that the sophisticated centuries old technical knowledge from which many western concepts have been derived i.e. western medicines is the work of the various people of the Middle East that are presented to us now as backward and religiously controlled by fanatical zealots have traditions that are far from backwards. Two years ago at the TMC Annual General Meeting Max Allen while speaking of the launch of the Canadian Tapestry website spoke of the logistics of repatriating the rugs to the source and how the website could at least allow online access to the keepers of the traditional skills. An interesting thought if you have a secure power source to run your computer equipment and can get on line. Those of us that can get to Centre

This dry information is soon lost in utter amazement inspired by the objects themselves. The beauty of each piece complimenting the other draws you future into the exhibition. When you enter the gallery you enter the Home: the components of both a Yurt and Tent. These are the portable dwellings that have housed these nomadic tribes for centuries. During this time period the fibre based components whether woven or felted have evolved in ways specific to their functions. Long weft float woven straps that have more elasticity due to its structure have elaborate colourful designs that aren’t necessary to the function of tying the support poles yet speak of the skill and artistry of the weaver. Wall coverings, floor coverings made differently for insulation, windbreak, comfort or decoration. Included in this first room along with the housing material is a vignette of figures in tribal garments. The Igdry Turkmen of Khorsasan in northern Iran and the Tekke from Turkmenistan were the most prominent silk weavers. Woven on horizontal or horizontal looms of local silk these finely


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Street in Downtown Toronto should take the opportunity to view this exhibition and learn all we can while simply enjoying these stunning textiles. –jl-

Imagine my delight when a volume focusing specifically on Canadian fashion crossed my desk. Fashion: A Canadian Perspective is a collection of fifteen loosely related scholarly papers on studies in Canadian fashion, and as such it does present some difficulties. With it’s admittedly “varied methodologies” in approach to the material, a rather eccentric cross-section of subject matter, and a marked unevenness of tone, one might complain that the book is “neither fish nor fowl”. We are presented with a wealth of potentially very compelling material, treated with varying degrees of “reader friendliness”. Some chapters exist as inviting and accessible pieces of popular criticism, meticulously researched and observed, while others remain firmly entrenched in “learned journal” territory. There is something of a “scattershot” feeling about the selection of articles for inclusion: we have fifteen experts in fifteen wildly divergent and specific areas of study. Why these particular subjects? Why together? Dr. Palmer attempts to address these questions in her introduction and through the structural framework she has imposed on the volume. The task of synthesizing the material is, however, in the end, left largely to the reader. Are we meant to draw specific conclusions from this book as a whole, and in the broader context, about Canadian fashion in general? Palmer repeatedly points out that this is a notoriously under served area of scholarly endeavour, a field of study still in its infancy, and this is certainly one of the chief impressions one brings away. These rather pedantic complaints aside, what we do have in Fashion: A Canadian Perspective is a fascinating wealth of individual scholarship and analysis that will engage any reader with more than a passing interest in Canadian fashion. From the first entry, we experience a series of small epiphanies about who we

Fashion: A Canadian Perspective Edited by Alexandra Palmer University of Toronto Press, 2004 A Bias-Cut Review by Martha Cockshutt

When did it dawn on me that there was such a thing as “Canadian Fashion”? As a child raised in a household flooded with magazines and littered with Vogue sewing patterns, I can be excused for believing that all things fashionable emanated from Gay Paree. As a pre-teen, a subscription to “Seventeen Magazine” shifted my focus to the States: who cared about stoopit old Dior when Betsy Johnson was turning cartwheels just a few blocks south. By high school I had become obsessed – shopping vintage, designing, and building clothes for myself and the girlfriends. My first “designer” dress was by Loucas Kleanthous – it was a rare find, terrific value for the money, and somehow just “right”. Perhaps it was then that I twigged: “Canadian Fashion – C’est nous!” Or, as Madge used to say, “You’re soaking in it.”


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

are and how it is we got this way. Eileen Stack takes a provocative look at the midnineteenth century fabrication of a Canadian identity as woven into the ubiquitous Blanket Coat. She notes the impact of R. G. Haliburton’s theories: how a “unique and racially superior [Anglo] Canadian character”, as supported by “participation in outdoor athletics produced a ‘robust hardihood’ in Canadians”. Many of us continue to suffer the fall-out from such pronouncements 140 years later, and they still smell like wet wool.

odd black-and-white illustrations, there are only eight colour plates included. I realize that colour reproduction is a costly proposition but a subject like fashion really begs for a little more splash.) Ms. Cooper also recounts the ongoing debate that raged amongst a populace scandalized at the opulence and expense of these much-publicized costume parties, attended, as they were, by high-ranking government officials and captains of industry. Le plus ca change… Equally compelling is Cynthia Cooper’s essay on fancy dress balls. It is always illuminating to see illustrations of historical interpretations of historical costume. They invariably seem to have more to say about the moment at which an image was captured, than they do about the moment in time they were intended to portray. The photos accompanying Cooper’s text are charming, none more so than (Fig. 8) Mrs. Lindsay’s mysterious and wonderful “lady from the time of Marie Antoinette”. We are lucky indeed to have good documentation regarding the desired effect of her costume, for without it her intent may have remained a mystery. (Another quibble I have with this volume as a whole is pictures. While we have 40odd black-and-white illustrations, there are only eight colour plates included. I realize that colour reproduction is a costly proposition but a subject like fashion really begs for a little more splash.) Ms. Cooper also recounts the ongoing debate that raged amongst a populace scandalized at the opulence and expense of these much-publicized costume parties, attended, as they were, by high-ranking government officials and captains of industry. Le plus ca change…

fig 8* Mrs. R.A. Lindsay as a lady of the time of Marie Antoinette, Montreal QC, 1881. Copyright © McCord Museum of Canadian History, Canada, accession # II-60022.1 Equally compelling is Cynthia Cooper’s essay on fancy dress balls. It is always illuminating to see illustrations of historical interpretations of historical costume. They invariably seem to have more to say about the moment at which an image was captured, than they do about the moment in time they were intended to portray. The photos accompanying Cooper’s text are charming, none more so than (Fig. 8) Mrs. Lindsay’s mysterious and wonderful “lady from the time of Marie Antoinette”. We are lucky indeed to have good documentation regarding the desired effect of her costume, for without it her intent may have remained a mystery. (Another quibble I have with this volume as a whole is pictures. While we have 40-


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

was Anglo Montreal “society” of the 1940’s and 50’s. Mrs. Harris’ broad scope of interest and endeavour expressed itself in a fusion of fashion, theatricality and dance that feels as fresh today as it must have sixty years ago. She engaged dancers as models, staged fashion shows that were pieces of theatre in their own right, and created garments from fabrics handpainted by artists. While the narrative biography may be a questionable form within the context of contemporary scholarly practice, it sure works for me. I was gratified at the inclusion of Deborah Fulsang’s examination of the impact of fashion television on fashion journalism in general. She acknowledges Jeanne Beker and FT for not only having begun the revolution - re-positioning the fashion industry within the context of mass pop culture, but also for placing Canada on the global fashion map. She presents a strong argument for how the resulting democratization of fashion has created a public that is more knowledgeable and demands more from their media. The broadcast medium continues to force the development of more insightful material on the subject and is responsible, at least in part, for the validation of fashion as credible subject of study in popular art and culture. Fulsang however never really tackles the complicated relationships that exist between an opinionated, genuinely critical press, and fashion industry insiders. She notes that Tim Blanks (Fashion File) has been accused of being “too nice to needle his interviewees”, yet neglects to make the connection that access is everything in an industry famous for its fickleness and black lists. She quotes Judy Cornish of Comrags; The Canadian press has been unbelievably supportive of Canadian fashion – almost to a fault…I think that [the fashion press has] taken steps recently to be more constructive and more critical but in a

fig 15.A millinery shop in Midland Ontario, c. 1897 (national Archives of Canada, PA 178835) There is something inherently tragic about the story of an industry marked for extinction. Christine Bates manages to bring a face to the thousands of forgotten milliners working in Ontario through the late nineteenth- and early twentiethcenturies. We know how the story will end before it begins: a trade that afforded women the rare opportunity to make their own way as small business owners is doomed to fail with the rise of mass manufacturing and the department store. The most compelling aspect of Ms. Bates’ article is the research gleaned from smalltown newspapers, archives, and correspondence that brings these women to life, with all their business sense, style and panache. We can see the sense of pride and accomplishment in the face of the anonymous milliner (Fig. 15) from Midland, standing in the midst of her beautifully decorated shop. We are also treated to three delicious colour plates of hats from the collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. (see image list) Lydia Ferrabee Sharman’s profile of “Lady” Jane Harris and her Montreal fashion salon embraces the tradition of the oral narrative; the product of an extensive series of interviews with Mrs. Harris conducted during the last years of her life. Her personality leaps off the page as she leads us through the whirlwind that


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

very Canadian way where they just don’t talk about stuff that isn’t up to scratch. I would offer that this politic is endemic to fashion journalism everywhere, and it is up to the individual journalist where they choose to position themselves in relation to their subjects. Jeanne Beker’s staying power has everything to do with knowing where to draw the line in the opinion-flinging and dirt-dishing departments and still guarantee herself a return invitation (or not, as the case may be!) Fashion: A Canadian Perspective contains many more fascinating offerings, on topics as diverse as labour history, dress reform, fashion advertising, and the short, happy life of the Association of Canadian Couturiers. We give this volume two-anda-half Lagerfelds out of three. Images used with permission

Fray at TMC &Koffler Gallery

untitled (dirt) by American Cal Lane at the Koffler Gallery Fray open at the Textile Museum of Canada and the Koffler Gallery on the same night with a bus provided between locations. That was the plan, however there was a minor disaster at the Koffler (loss of power due to heavy rains which happens often) It was a very crowded event and impossible to get a good look at the work. Taking pictures of the personalities there (artist, curators, directors and generous Benefactors of the Museum and the show) for a gossipy sort of rendering of the evening was impossible. By all accounts it was the event of the summer. Then life got in the way and seeing the other half of the show at the Koffler Gallery was delayed until the other day so the opportunity to write seriously about the show has just occurred, but you’ll have to wait for the next issue of Selvedge Magazine to read my review. jl

fig 8* Mrs. R.A. Lindsay as a lady of the time of Marie Antoinette, Montreal QC, 1881. Copyright © McCord Museum of Canadian History, Canada, accession # II-60022.1 fig 15.A millinery shop in Midland Ontario, c. 1897 (national Archives of Canada, PA 178835) Copyright unknown three delicious colour plates of hats from the collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. ( explore the online collection of personal artifacts "more then just Hats" return to articel To Buy the Book Fashion a Canadian Perspective Edited by Alexandra Palmer University of Toronto Press Incorporation 2004 ISBN 0-8020-8809-0 (CLOTH) ISBN 0-8020-8590-3 (PAPER) /merchant.ihtml?pid=8049&step=4


Martha Cockshutt is a rather opinionated writer, designer, and theatre artist, based in Peterborough, Ontario (for her sins)


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

The Textile Museum of Canada: Award Winning and Working Hard TORONTO October 1, 2006 The Textile Museum of Canada (TMC) has received a significant contribution ($452,923) from Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Program to create Digital Threads: Textiles | Art | Technology. The latest in a series of Web initiatives, Digital Threads will tell compelling stories of Canadian identity through the work of some of the country’s most important contemporary artists… The Canadian Textile Museum celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2005 with eight mounted exhibitions and the launch of Canadian Tapestry, an online exhibition and database featuring more than 3,800 objects from the museums permanent collection. The event turned out to be a favourite of the 2006 Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) Awards which named A Terrible Beauty: an installation by Jennifer Angus, one of the eight exhibitions featured, as Exhibition of the Year, as well as recognizing Thor Hansen: Crafting a Canadian Style, with two awards for Design and Curatorial Writing respectively. Even the web launch did not go unrecognized at this years OAAG awards which granted Canadian Tapestry with the title of Website of The Year, a title that could be added to their growing repertoire as the site has also been awarded the prestigious Excellence in Arts, Lifestyle and Culture award from the Canadian New Media Awards. With so much attention at the OAAG awards, an increase in media coverage for A Terrible Beauty and subsequent increases in attendance, the TMC is using this interest to boost its role as public educator. The educational backbone of the TMC is well established thanks to the H. N. Pullar Library, and the creation of FibreSpace, a hands on creative education space that has been a part of the Permanent Collection Gallery since 2004. This coming fall the TMC will continue to grow with the launch of Arts for Youth – Arts for Life, a new special educational project directed towards students in the elementary and secondary school systems. As government and Board of Education budgets continue to tighten and arts related curriculum diminishes the TMC steps up its efforts to bring the museum experience to this next generation. The Museum offers engaging and inspiring curriculum-linked educational programs for school groups. Their gallery/studio programs include an educator-led tour of the current exhibitions with stimulating hands-on activities, affording each student the opportunity to create their own textile artworks connecting cloth and creativity to everyday life. To underwrite the cost of these programs for students and schools that are under stress from lack of funds and are unable to subsidize such activities, the TMC annual Golden Threads Campaign will fund this project. Arts for Youth – Arts for Life commencing in September will provide free-access for the large number of children from these disadvantaged schools. The TMC is looking to public for aid. A gift of $50 will provide a visit for eight children: a donation of $125, for example will underwrite a field trip for 20 young people. Working in partnership with the Toronto District School Board and the DAREarts Foundation ( the Museum will put its education department fully behind this increased effort. To support or find out more about this program visit the website


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY


Suzanne Carlsen, Toronto, Alternative Transportation, 2006, Cotton, thread, silver, hand embroidery, 3.5 X 1cm. each. This work was part of Fibreworks 2006 at the Cambridge Galleries in Cambridge Ontario, an hour north west of Toronto. During each of these Biannual exhibitions the gallery takes the opportunity to ad to its growing collection of contemporary Textile and Fibre art. This year they purchased this collection of Suzanne Carlsen’s fine embroidered Broaches along with the work of seven other artists.


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

Thinking Fibre or the Tale waging the… My Knitting Career by Mary Kosta

I remember the knitted slippers and afghans my great grandmother made for us, and the hat made of mossy green hand-spun and hand-dyed wool, knitted just for me by a friend’s mother. I remember the take-it-for granted attitude I displayed to these hand-made offerings: how I lost my slippers, spilled milk on the afghan, and gave away the hat to the Goodwill store. I had no idea of how much skill, patience, and love was required to knit something by hand. Now, years later, on the cusp of becoming a grandmother, I have decided to learn to knit. My grandmother did not learn from her widowed mother, having left school early to find work and help support her many siblings. Consequently, my mother did not learn to knit, or crochet, or sew, or any of the traditional handicrafts that girls learned when families were self-supporting. I am a third generation non-knitter, and whatever skills my Hungarian grandmother possessed were not passed down to me. I enrol in a knitting class. Every Thursday, Carol James, a fibre artist from Winnipeg, teaches seven of us, women of varying ages, to knit. She assures us that nothing we do can possibly make us even slightly ill. I begin, using long needles and fine, soft, genuine wool that I purchased years ago, in the vain attempt to teach myself. I go home, knit, unravel, knit, and again unravel the wool that persists in splitting each stitch into two new stitches. I return to class a week later, with about a half inch of knitted yarn, and sixty more stitches than I started with on my needle. I trade in my long needles for short 5 mm needles and cotton yarn. I need the baby needles. I feel like a child learning to swim who gets water wings. What a relief to stop drowning. I learn to cast on. I will never be able to stop knitting because I cannot remember how to cast off. I picture myself, years from now, with a kilometer long dishcloth. Soon, I no longer have to pull the loop away from the needle with my fingers so that I can force my needle in. My improved tension reflects my inner peace and ease when knitting. It is a karmic stage. I feel ebullient. I learn the purl stitch, and how to increase and decrease. Now, secure in the tension, and feeling safe with the baby needles and cotton wool, I make a great leap, and attempt the moss stitch. Returning to class, I display my work, full of gaping holes. One of my fellow students comments that it is not called the “moth” stitch. Carol calmly, using a crochet hook, makes the holes disappear. I have forgotten how to increase and decrease and cast on. However, I do remember how to purl, which a few others have forgotten. Carol patiently reviews everything with us. We all, by now, realize that learning to knit is similar to learning quantum physics. In class, the pixies, as Carol calls them, do not make us cross stitches, drop stitches, split stitches or pull our yarn over. Once we are at home, we are besieged and beleaguered, and don’t remember how to fix our mistakes. We bring to class the evidence of the evil done by these malevolent sprites. Carol shows us again, how to bring the new thread through the old stitch, or drop the yarn over into the


fibreQuarterly VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4, 2006 ANTHOLOGY

fabric, or fish up the dropped stitch with a crochet hook and catch it up to the rest. I sit gapemouthed in wonder at her magical skills, but I know with deep certainty, that if I remember how to fix my mistakes, I will forget how to make them: in short, I will forget how to knit and purl. The human mind can only contain so much esoteric information. It is the end of the third class. Some students can blithely do the scallop and eyelet stitches. They are the good students. I can recognize a purled stitch and a knit stitch. Carol is very patient. Once I decide to stop unravelling my mistakes, I become bolder. I learn the garter, stockingette, and single rib stitches. I try hard not to think about checks, eyelets and scallops. My reach does not exceed my grasp. I am humble. It is the end of the fourth class, and Carol has given us a mitten pattern. I am going to try it. I have learned a little of this new, highly coded language of knitting patterns. In my sleep, I mumble “K2tog, inc 1, P2 sts� over and over. I dream of Johnny Scissorhands and his delight when I present him with a pair of holey mittens, knitted with my specialty, the moth stitch. Mary Kosta is the fumble-fingered librarian at the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Someday, she will knit Pangnirtung style hats for her grandchildren to remind them of the Northwest Territories, where she raised her daughters as non-knitters.

BRAIN by Sarah Maloney, (98-99) knitted cotton on stainless steal armature on display at TMC Image from FRAY provided by TMC and used with permission


fibreQUARTERLY Anthology 2006  

fibreQuarterly is an on-line publication focusing on Canadian Textile crafts art fashion and decor design

fibreQUARTERLY Anthology 2006  

fibreQuarterly is an on-line publication focusing on Canadian Textile crafts art fashion and decor design